Government called on to give students, teachers & parents clarity around Leaving Cert ASAP


Sinn Fin's spokesperson on Education, Donnchadh Laoghaire, has today said that children and students due to sit their Leaving Cert in 2021 need clarity on the format of their examination process as soon as possible.


Mr. Laoghaire said; "This year's cohort of Leaving Cert students are facing huge stress and anxiety about how they will be assessed this year and what this will mean for their futures."


On Friday, the Department of Education confirmed they would in fact be looking at other methods of the examination after many students and parents voiced their concerns about going ahead in June.


According to The Irish Times, a report was published earlier in the week by the Irish Secondary Students Union (ISSU), that showed just 4% of students felt comfortable with sitting the "traditional" Leaving Cert this year.


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A statement from SF continued saying; The reality is that there are serious question marks about whether written Leaving Cert exams will happen in June and the lack of contingency planning in this regard is outrageous."


The Minister for Education is being called on to make a plan as soon as possible for the peace of mind of students, and if calculated grades are to be used again, then a plan needs to be actioned to ensure the accuracy of these grades ahead of time.


Laoghaire suggested; "Use of continuous assessment can be a part of such a system, ensuring grades are fairly calculated. This is the direction that the Leaving Cert should be moving in any way; regardless of COVID-19."


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The Sinn Fin Education spokesperson also said he believes students deserve the choice of whether or not to sit the Leaving Cert as usual, and so there should be facilities in place for this as well.


He concluded; "I am urging Minister Norma Foley to now take the necessary steps to facilitate this and to engage with all stakeholders in a timely and responsible way. We cannot sleepwalk our way into another crisis in education.


"Alongside the process of offering choice with regards the Leaving Cert, we need to maximise access to third-level and the work to increase the number of college places and apprenticeships available in the Autumn needs to commence with urgency.


"That, again, cannot be left to the last minute."